Your hair porosity determines how well your natural hair can take in and retain moisture. And if you have low porosity hair, you probably can relate to how daunting it is to moisturize your hair thoroughly or keep it moisturized even. With low porosity hair, your hair can feel dry and be tough to manage.
In this article, you would be learning how to effectively moisturize your low porosity hair and retain moisture on your strands.
What Is Low Porosity Hair?
Having low porosity hair means that your hair rarely takes in water or gets moisturized easily. The reason for this is because your hair cuticles are laid down tight, preventing water and conditioning agents from penetrating your hair shaft.
The picture below shows a clear comparison between the 3 types of hair porosity.
How To Identify Low Porosity Hair
People who have tight curls or type 3C hair are likely to have low porosity hair. Some signs that your hair might be low porosity include:
- Hair that is coarse or rough to touch
- Split ends
- Lack of elasticity in hair
- Product build-up
- Dull hair without shine or volume
- Hair that takes longer to dry thoroughly
Ways To Determine If You Have Low Porosity Hair
There are three methods you can use to test if your hair has low porosity.
The Float Test: Take some strands of hair from your brush or comb and place them into a glass or bowl of water. Allow it to sit for 2-4 minutes, if it floats to the top, then you have low porosity hair.
The Slip 'n' Slide Test: Take a strand of hair between your fingers and slide it up the shaft towards the scalp. Look out for any bumps or roughness, however, if your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair.
- The Shower Test: When you wash your hair under the shower, check how long it takes for your hair to get fully wet. Low porosity hair usually has a hard time getting wet and getting dry as well.
6 Tips For Moisturizing Your Low Porosity Hair
1. Use a pre-poo treatment
A pre-poo treatment simply means a pre-shampoo. It is the process of applying oils or deep conditioners to your hair before shampooing to lock in moisture and prevent the strands from getting stripped of their natural oils from a shampoo. This treatment is beneficial for your low porosity hair because it adds softness, slip, and weight to your hair. It also helps to moisturize and detangle the hair and reduce split ends or frizz.
For your pre-poo treatment, you can use a mixture of oils, and a conditioner with oils or butter. The oils you should use for low porosity hair are penetrating oils like coconut, sunflower, olive, and avocado oil. After each application, also ensure you wash your hair thoroughly.
2. Use heat when deep conditioning
Due to the tight structure of your hair shaft, your natural hair requires the assistance of heat to force your hair shaft open.
Heat application opens your hair cuticle for moisture to settle in. It also breaks down the complexity of the oils you apply so they can supply your hair with nutrients. After applying deep conditioner to your hair, cover it up with a shower cap or heat cap and then use a steamer on it for some minutes. The result of this application would be well moisturized and softer hair.
3. Use light products that penetrate easily
The issue with low porosity hair is its inability to absorb moisture. One way to solve this issue is by using light products that can be easily absorbed into your hair shaft and work their magic. Heavy products are difficult to absorb into low porosity hair. This is because they sit on your hair and end up forming build-ups that clog up your hair cuticles. So, when next you are stocking up hair products, ensure you look out for the ones specially made for low porosity hair.
4. Use water-based styling products
Your natural hair needs moisture and the best way to keep it moisturized is by applying water to it. And since your hair needs to be hydrated at all times, it's best to stick to styling products that are water-based. Water-based products contain water as the main ingredient, are light on the hair, and don't leave build-up on the hair.
When shopping for water-based styling products, other ingredients you can look out for in them are Glycerin, Aloe vera, Honey, and other natural extracts. Also, you should check product labels before purchasing or ask your hair professional for water-based product recommendations.
5. Use the greenhouse approach
The greenhouse method involves the process of moisturizing your hair, and then covering up your head with a plastic bag and leaving it overnight. The next morning, you'd find droplets of water accumulated at the top of the hair bag. This is as a result of heat rising from your head. This approach is an effective way of getting your hair shaft to absorb moisture easily.
6. Make satin your best friend
We would always recommend that you protect your hair at night with a satin bonnet. This is because satin bonnets help to retain the moisture already in your hair overnight and protects against hair breakage. Another way to protect your hair from breakage is by using a silk or satin pillowcase for your pillow.
How to Moisturize Your Low Porosity Hair
If you need a basic hair regimen on how to moisturize your low porosity hair, Minerva Joy shares a step by step tutorial on how to do this and how this routine works for her own low porosity hair.